A Whale's Lament

October 28, 2011
by Lori Ciccanti

Genesis 1:21a,22a – And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas. (KJV)

I was touched by an unusual story in my local paper of a mother pilot whale, spotted not far from the Delmarva shore, desperately trying to save the life of her baby. An event rarely seen by humans, the incident was witnessed by a fisherman who reported seeing the grieving mother swimming around for hours supporting her calf above water so that it would not sink. One expert believes the baby whale was either stillborn or died shortly after birth.

This sad yet amazing story sparked my interest in pilot whales and marine life in general, so I decided to do an Internet search. What I learned were some fascinating facts ascribed to the whale kingdom, clearly demonstrating the glory and manifold wisdom of God. The following list illustrates only a few awe-inspiring features of these great leviathan-sized creatures of the sea:

  • The young are born tail first and immediately swim to the surface for oxygen. Incredibly, their God-given instincts signal that there is air above water.

  • After taking their first breath, calves are then nourished with their mother's milk. Somehow her seafood diet miraculously converts to wholesome milk.

  • Some whales can hold their breath for a period of one to one and a half hours under water. Their bodies are also designed by our Creator to withstand enormous amounts of pressure while deep-sea diving.

  • Whales use a complicated system of musical sounds to communicate. Many species are very sociable, including pilot whales, which also tend to be curious when in close proximity to human divers.

  • The blue whale is the largest animal on earth, about 110 feet in length and weighing over 170 tons (many times heavier than the biggest dinosaur). Their tongue alone weighs as much as two grown horses! Even scientists are puzzled by the blue whale's extraordinary characteristics.

Inspired by a whale's lament, her expression of grief caused me to stop for a moment and contemplate another realm of existence — the undersea world. Let us consider the many wonders of God's awesome creation, giving honour and glory to the One who established it. And if God has put such thought into caring for the needs of whales, how much more does He care for our needs on a daily basis!

Matthew 10:31 – So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (NIV)

More than many sparrows — or whales!

Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. (NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your infinite wisdom and majestic involvement in caring for all Your creatures, both small and great alike. The more we learn, the more we see Your great glory displayed throughout our world, bearing testimony of Your power and everlasting love. We praise You in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Word of life through whom all things exist. In His mighty name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <dlalsina@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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